What is the role of a Change Sponsor


What is the role of a Change Sponsor?


When asked to identify the key contributors to the success of their change initiatives, participants in a research study [1] placed active and visible executive sponsorship at the top of the list. Sponsorship has been number one on the list of top contributors in many change management reports since 1998.

When asked to identify the biggest obstacle to success, participants in the same research study identified a lack of effective change sponsorship from senior leaders as their primary obstacle to success. Sponsors were inactive or invisible, not at the right level, not aligning other leaders around the change and wavering in their support.


The project sponsor responsibilities are across: 



  • Authorise and fund the change
  • Gain commitment and involvement from senior and line management
  • Align the organisation’s infrastructure, environment and reward systems with the change initiative (where relevant)
  • Ensure the priority of the initiative is clear alongside other organisational initiatives


  • Clear a path for success and resolve escalated issues e.g. related to project schedule and scope
  • Train, mentor and/or coach line management, remaining accessible throughout
  • Ensure resources for the change, especially people and training are provided
  • Celebrate successes with the project team and organisation


  • Communicate the need for the change
  • Articulate a clear vision for the change and link to organisational strategy
  • Actively and visibly champion the change
  • Role model the change


[1] Prosci's Best Practices in Change Management - 2018 Edition